Amarinder Singh defends Rahul Gandhi, says Congress ‘as a party' was not involved in 1984 riots
Chandigarh, Aug 26: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday came out in defence of Rahul Gandhi who had claimed that Congress had no role in 1984 Anti Sikh Riots.
Singh lashed out at Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for attacking Rahul. Rahul Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to the UK, had told an audience of UK-based parliamentarians and local leaders in London on Friday that the incident was a "very painful tragedy", but disagreed with the view that the Congress was involved.
The SAD had yesterday hit out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on the 1984 riots, saying by disagreeing with the view that his party was involved in the "genocide", he had "rubbed salt into the wounds" of the Sikh community.
Amarinder Singh said the Congress chief was in school when Operation Bluestar and later the riots took place. To blame him for 'anything' was totally absurd, said Amarinder Singh, in a hard-hitting statement issued. To hold Rahul Gandhi responsible for an act, of which he was not even aware when it happened, was completely ridiculous, said the chief minister.
"The Congress, as a party, was never involved in the riots that continue to haunt the Sikh community," the chief minister said.
Amarinder Singh said that if any individual was involved, he or she would be dealt with as per the law.
"To blame the entire party for the acts of a few was preposterous and typical of the political immaturity of Sukhbir," the chief minister said.
Amarinder Singh said, "Rahul Gandhi's latest comments need to be seen in context with his earlier statements on the 1984 riots, wherein he himself had named some Congressmen".
"You cannot blame an entire party because of the acts of such individuals," said the chief minister reiterating that "whosoever was involved in the senseless killings in 1984 should be hanged, irrespective of political affiliations."
Both the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came down heavily on Rahul Gandhi for claiming that the Congress party was not involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The 1984 riots, that claimed over 3,000 Sikh lives, were triggered immediately after the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh body guards.
On Saturday (August 25), SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal lashed out at Rahul and said the Congress president was trying to protect his party leaders involved in the "genocide".
"Rahul Gandhi has rubbed salt into the wounds of Sikh 'quom' (community) by saying that Congress was not involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots," Badal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Badal had said he wanted to ask Rahul Gandhi that if Congress leaders were not involved in the riots why the party withdrew election nominations to party leaders HKL Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar.
"Why was Jagdish Tytler removed from the ministry in the Manmohan Singh-led government," he said, pointing out that Singh had also apologised for the riots.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs